1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA 1600
- One of the most original and genuine GTAs in existence, beautiful authentic unmolested condition
- Retaining its original Alfa Romeo book pouch, owner’s manual, warranty and service booklet and service centre guide and French GTA sales brochure
- The first GTA delivered to France, and the French press demonstrator
- Powered by Alfa Romeo’s famed twin-cam, twin-plug, 1,570 cc, four-cylinder engine
- Accompanied by a charmingly detailed history file
Alfa Romeo and the GTA
GTA – the three most fabled letters to adorn an Alfa Romeo.
From 1965 to 1971 Alfa Romeo produced this, the Giulia Sprint GTA. Lightweight aluminium outer body panels which were pop-rivetted to the chassis, with Alfa Romeo’s ‘Servizio Esperienze Carpenteria’ responsible for the choice of material, Peraluman 25. This was a special lightweight alloy of aluminium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc. Magnesium alloy wheels, clear plastic side windows, an aluminium upper control arm, lighter door handles and quarter window mechanisms and a spartan interior with bucket seats ensured the GTA truly deserved its new final character, ‘A’ which stood for Allggerita (lightweight in Italian).
The 1,570 cc DOHC engine featured a new high-flow cylinder head with larger valves which incorporated double ignition, better known as twin plug or twin spark. Two Weber twin-barrel 45mm carburettors fed the four cylinders with air and fuel. The cam cover, sump, timing cover, bell housing and rear gearbox cover were made from Elektron, a special magnesium alloy for further weight savings. The gearbox was also adjusted, with the gear ratios being closer and machined differently to save more weight and improve shifting. After all the weight saving measures, the GTA weighed a mere 745 kgs, a staggering 205 kg weight reduction compared to the GT.
The main purpose of the GTA was competition. Alfa Romeo and its works racing department, Autodelta, wanted to win, and this was the car that brought huge success. For example, in the 1966 European Touring Car Championship season opener at Monza, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA dominated, claiming the top seven places with Andrea de Adamich going on to take the title in the same year, even following it up with back to back titles in 1967.
This Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA
This Giulia Sprint GTA completed production at the Alfa Romeo facility in Arese, Italy on 10th June 1965, and was originally finished in Rosso Alfa 501 with the same grey imitation leather interior as all GTAs. Six days later this car, chassis AR 613372, was delivered new to SOFAR (Société Française Alfa Romeo), the French Alfa Romeo importer in Paris. In 2012, Gerard Lanvin, Technical Director of SOFAR in the 1960’s, confirmed chassis AR 613372 to have been the first Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA delivered to France, and used as a press demonstrator.
In December 1965, Charles Deutsch’s company, Société d’Etudes et de Réalisations Automobiles - Charles Deutsch (S.E.C.A), purchased the car to test special wheels and tyres for its Le Mans racing car, the CD Panhard. Deutsch was a French aerodynamics engineer and was one of the early pioneers of ground-effects on race cars, claiming victory in the Index of Performance Trophy at the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a company car, records were maintained and still accompany this GTA, detailing every fuel stop, including the fuel efficiency. This GTA was fitted with 14lb wheels which were used on the Peugeot-engined CD to test efficiency of the new Michelin racing tyres.
During the ownership of S.E.C.A, this car was registered in France, with the license ‘1716 GP 78’, before being bought by Anthoine Gazel in 1969. Gazel had a close connection to this GTA, having worked for S.E.C.A during the time it owned this car. In 1972, this GTA engine was rebuilt, having already covered 85,000 km in only 7 years, thanks to the testing duties. In early 1978 this GTA was bought by an enthusiast in Le Mans, France and registered on the license ‘927 DMH 77’. The car was used for journeys between Sarthe and Savoie before being put into storage at the end of 1981.
In the early 2000’s this car was bought by Lionel Fontenier whose collection was managed by Ramond Eteme who commissioned a sympathetic mechanical restoration after its hibernation in rural France. The car was then registered in France with the license ‘2110 QW 72’ with the engine being rebuilt again in 2009 before another change of registration in 2012 to ‘2642 WY 28’.
Having changed hands into the ownership of Antoine Blasco of Toulouse, France in June 2012, this GTA was featured in Autoretro magazine in February 2013 before passing to its current owner in Italy.
Amazingly, this Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA remains largely untouched from the day it left the Arese factory in 1965, having been well maintained and cared for throughout its life. This attention has resulted in a fabulous history file which contains many invoices for works carried out in the 1960’s and 1970’s, through to the sympathetic works carried out to keep the car in full running order in more recent years. This car also retains its original red Alfa Romeo book pouch, Giulia Sprint GTA owners’ manual, warranty and service booklet and service centre guide. An original French Giulia Sprint GTA sales brochure also accompanies this car, along with its original fuel and journey records from the ownership of S.E.C.A Charles Deutsch.
This is one of only 500 original Giulia Sprint GTA’s built, but the really special feature of this example is it’s beautifully authentic and unmolested condition. It has been lovingly maintained and cared for throughout its life, ensuring it has retained a fabulously genuine and unrepeatable presence. The paintwork has worn in places and peeled in other sections, but when you rub your hand across the cracks in the paintwork on the bonnet or the roof, you can feel this cars story.
This GTA’s condition is not something you can manufacture or manipulate, this is authenticity and originality, just the way Alfa Romeo and Bertone intended it.
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